In defence of Miss SA Lalela Mswane

Published Dec 18, 2021


Miss SA Lalela Mswane. Photo: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

Athi Nyokana

It is unclear whether it is the side effects of the vaccines or not, but a reactionary section of liberals and ultra leftists has emerged on social media to direct some of the worst attacks in human history against Miss SA Lalela Mswane.

This cames after the Richards Bay born model won Miss SA and subsequently, decided not to withdraw from the Miss Universe beauty pageant to be held in Israel.

Following this, the South African government collaborated with these reactionary forces to withdraw support for Mswane citing ‘the atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians… ’

The unfortunate statement released by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture against Mswane had condescending undertones and at some point called for her common sense to prevail.

Below I traverse some of the reasons why the South African government should reconsider its decision to withdraw support for Mswane.

At a time when the unity of Black People in South Africa, particularly that of Black Women is most paramount, we’re once again faced with a liberal-ultra left divisive agenda.

It is unfortunate that the dispossessed African Woman that Mswane is, had to be caught in the crossfire of this regressive ordeal.

Much like Palestinians, Black People in modern day South Africa face a more than three-centuries long problem of land dispossession perpetrated by white colonial settlers in the form of the British and the Dutch.

This reality was best articulated by former president Jacob Zuma who once correctly observed in his State of the Nation Address that our problems as Black People in South Africa began with the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652.

From then onwards, various struggles have been waged by the Natives to repossess stolen land from white minorities and return it to its rightful owners: the African Black majority.

Of course these efforts would have never been possible without the assistance of progressive international forces such as Cuba, Russia and Palestine who assisted in bringing to an end a set of laws that subjugated the Black majority in South Africa: apartheid.

Despite these interventions by amongst others, the international community, nothing fundamental has changed for the Black majority in South Africa which has the worst inequality and unemployment statistics on Earth.

Natives in this country have been reduced to second class landless citizens.

This is part of the reason why Black People can be massacred in broad daylight in the manner in which they were in Phoenix.

The little gains that had been made in 1994 are now being reversed as the political freedom that we harbour is currently in the process of being handed over back to white settlers through a coalition project by the liberals and the ultra left.

At the centre of what makes this horrific reality for Natives possible, is disunity and the sowing of divisions by those who have arrogated the liberatory task of Black People to themselves.

They do this outside the parameters of Black Consciousness.

Quite often, in an attempt to create an impression that they are revolutionary they bulldoze through almost everything without applying their minds first.

They did this with the imperialist sponsored state capture propaganda; wherein, the state capture commission was, through collaborative efforts by liberals and the ultral-left, led to the unjustified arrest of former pesident Jacob Zuma.

Following which chaos ensued, breeding fertile ground for the brutal massacre that occurred in Phoenix.

In an attempt to sanitise their blood swamped hands, sections of this counter revolutionary pact have made tremendous efforts to erase our memories by staging pointless protests through Phoenix and characterizing the arrest of the former President as “unwise”.

But in a speech delivered at a Joint Plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission, Joseph Stalin warns us of these reactionary forces when he says “but such is the fate of ultra left phrase mongers”.

“Their phrases are leftist but in practice it turns out that they are aiding the enemies of the working class.

“You go in on the left and come out on the right.”

As such, we must never accede to the theatrical gestures that seek to portray Mswane as an enemy of Black People, the real working class.

The impression that is created that if Mswane participates at a beauty pageant to be held in Israel means that she does not recognise or sympathise with the struggle of Palestinians against Israelis is false and in line with other false narratives peddled by these reactionary forces such as for instance, trying to make us believe that the DA is not our class enemy as Black People and that voting with them is not a sellout position.

The reality is that Mswane has never openly voted for the DA or done anything that would warrant the attacks leveled against her.

The South African government that has withdrawn its support for Lalela, infact recognises the State of Israel and continues to have trade relations with them.

Many of our own citizens continue to buy goods imported from Israel and sold to us through establishments such as Woolworths.

If the underlying principle of withdrawing support for Mswane is to never aid or side with injustice then South Africa has spectacularly failed.

As the dispossessed Black majority that we are, we continue to aid and work for white owned establishments ourselves.

This is despite the fact that it is these establishments that oppressed us during apartheid and continue to oppress us now in neo-apartheid.

Many of South Africa’s political elites sit in the boards of these establishments and benefit from the proceeds of the racial oppression of Black South Africans, but at the same time it is them who are at the forefront of withdrawing support for Mswane.

The post 1994 bourgeoisie controlled South African government has never postulated any Black majority progressive policy.

It has consistently been insensitive to the plight of the real working class.

Reacting to misinformed perspectives from liberal and ultra left saturated platforms will not reverse this reality.

Throughout history it is those who have been patient with the masses who have been able to wage successful revolutions, leaving no one behind.

This is because they understood that the basics of proletarian revolutions is the unity of the oppressed.

At the base of this oppression is the Black Woman who in South Africa owing to the primary problem of land dispossession, have been relegated to second class citizenry.

At the forefront of infusing dignity and a sense of confidence in the Black Woman is Mswane.

Where European beauty standards have been the barometer against which the beauty of African women has been tested, Mswane is there to abolish those sentiments.

The reigning Miss SA must not be made a scapegoat for the lack of progressive international policy by South Africa.

She will not and must not lead the boycott of Israel when political leadership has failed to do so.

When our political leadership has failed to even demand reparations for colonialism from Britain on international platforms, they must not abdicate their assigned political duties to a model, Mswane.

Revolutionaries must never tire from engaging the tenants of the National Democratic Revolution.

The importance of never siding with injustice must be explained repeatedly to Lalela Mswane.

It must never be shoved down her throat the same way the DA is being force-fed to us, the Black majority in key metros.

By withdrawing support for the soon to be Miss Universe, the South African government has missed a great opportunity of being at the forefront of the unity of Black People, particularly Black Women.

When Lalela Mswane returns from the Miss Universe beauty pageant she will not return any less Black than she is.

More than anything, she would have demonstrated the power of dispossessed people right at the doorstep of injustice.

She deserves our support. Izwe Lethu.

Nyokana is a ’Revolutionary Activist’ and a law student